Monday, August 31, 2009

Thursday Night Race League

I found this over on the DC, and he apparently found it from someone else. It's a little ditty about a weekly race league in Whitefish, Montana. Thanks to whoever shot it, it's a sweet video. Not to mention the fact that it would be so awesome to have a weekly race series/trail network like that in your hometown. If and when I win the lottery, that may be a good place to spend the summer. WNR @ HQ. Call Sarah for food assignments if so inclined.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Cross Conversion

The old LeMond that has served me faithfully for over ten years is almost ready for retirement. Once I got a new Quiring road bike a few years ago, the old LeMond was left to gather dust until I converted it to a commuter last summer. The other day while I was attempting to put it back together after a little tune-up and paint touch up it occurred to me that the bike is fu**ing old. It really doesn't owe me anything. Also, I've got this really nice Cannondale cyclocross bike that doesn't get used very much. It just happens to have mounts for racks in the front and rear. I swapped over the rear panniers and a new rear rack. The knobby tires also give me the freedom to ramble down dirt roads and trails if the mood should strike me. I've also recently ordered panniers and rack for the front end as well. You may be asking yourself, why would I need any more storage if I'm just riding to work or yoga. Well, I'm going on a little bicycle adventure at the end of Sept. My only plan so far is to load up the bike with my tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, small cook stove/cook set, a few extra bike clothes, one set of leisure clothes/shoes, and a small amount of food (I'm planning to resupply on the road). Then I will ride and live out of my bike for seven days. My rough plan is to ride south to Frankfort or Manistee and then cross over to the "sunrise side of the state" near Tawas. Then I'm planning on heading north to the bridge before heading south for home. One big circle tour. Does anyone want to join me? Have a good weekend.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

WNR #20 (on tuesday)

Attendance: Myself, Sarah, Benson, and Kevin (the new guy). I don't know if it was the day change or the weather that was responsible for the low rider turnout.

Weather: Pretty crappy. 65 and a light mist/rain.

Trail Conditions: Clear but slippery. The tremendous cloud cover meant very low light conditions by the end of the ride, adding to overall trail sketchiness.

In the end, I was happy to have gotten out for the ride. It's always a good time when you get to ride/run up Kipp. Rd. Trail on the singlespeed. It's even more fun if you do it twice. Trust me. I think we ended up with 12 miles in a little under 1.5 hours with about 1500 ft. of climbing. I even had my first crash in I don't know long. Right near the end of the ride I got a little off the trail, and before I could take corrective measures a small but sturdy tree just to the left of the trail halted my bikes forward progress. I continued forward, slamming both my legs and knees into the handlebars before landing about five feet in front of my bike. I was able to immediately remount my bike and finish out the ride, but the damage had been done. I started the self-medication process with a cold HumaLupa and headed home for dinner. At that point in the evening I was pretty sure it was just a good crash as opposed to a bad one. But how can a crash be "good" you ask? I look at it this way. If you spend a lot of time riding/racing different bicycles to and fro, you will eventually touch the floor (crash). In my book, a "good" crash is one where (A) your bike suffers no non-cosmetic damage, and (B) your body only suffers bruising and small to medium scrapes/cuts. Often you're unable to tell whether or not you had a good or bad crash until the following day when you roll out of bed. This morning I was able to chalk last night's crash up in the good column. I bruised the living sh*t out of my legs and knees in a couple of spots and have a few scrapes, but other than that I'm feeling just fine. I checked out the rig this morning, and bike appears fine as well. Going to the bull ride tonight, so I'll try and get some pictures. Next week's ride @ HQ. Oberon is on tap again. Over and out.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Check Is In The Mail

Once Rick picks up the mail this morning I'm committed to my first ski race of the season. It's a doozy. It's the biggest ski race in North America. It's been on my radar for a couple of years now, and talking with Steve Biggs at Matt and Jess's wedding sealed the deal. I don't know whether or not he's going to follow through on his end, but I'm in. I have many, many more miles to ride yet this year; but signing up for the Birkie definitely gets me excited for ski season.

Back to biking: The commuter is almost back up and running after a little TLC. I touched up a few rust spots, replaced the crankset with an old FSA 2X9 I had laying around (a little easier gears for fully loaded hill climbs), got a front rack ready to install, and replaced the chain. Hopefully she'll get a shakedown ride in the morning to Petoskey/Yoga. Then, it's the WNR on tuesday. Kipp Rd. @ 6:30. See you there.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Photo Dump

I haven't been taking as many pictures as I should lately, but here's what I've got.

A nice sunset and the after party at a WNR sometime back @ Boyne.

The lighthouse up at BIg Bay on Lake Superior.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

WNR # 19

Attendance: Myself, Sarah, Benson, Rob, Steve, and Kevin.

Weather: Hot, humid, and sunny. Temps. in the low 80s.

Trail Conditions: Boyne Mountain has apparently been getting even less rain than we have this summer. That, coupled with the fact that those trails get ridden a ton more than our local ones, meant for a sandy and rooty affair. Also, it's been two years since I've ridden down there, and I'd forgotten how much climbing there is. The 34X18 gear I run on the singlespeed was just about maxed out. Fortunately the steroids seem to have worked their magic, and I was able to ride up most all but the steepest of hills (there it tended to be faster to get off and run anyway).

After the ride, our group reconvened at the Red Mesa Grill for some well earned dinner and drinks. It was a late night getting home and an early morning dragging myself out of bed to get to yoga, but it was super cool to ride some trails I hadn't ridden in some time and dinner at the Red Mesa is always a treat. Next week's WNR is going to shift to a T(tuesday)NR @ Kipp Rd. A few of us have a friend riding in a bull riding competition next wednesday, so that's the reason for the switch. TIme is still at 6:30. Be there or be square. Have a good weekend.

Friday, August 14, 2009

On the Roid's

That's right, I'm officially doping now. But it's okay because I got them from the doc right? What I thought were just lingering effects of the sickness/race (coughing, shortness of breath, and wheezing) turned out to be a wee bit more serious. I finally sucked it up and went to the doctor yesterday morning. Greg was way, way more concerned about my lungs than I had been. Initially, he thought I may have to be admitted. I told him that wasn't really an option. He had the nurse inject a large syringe of steroids into my right buttock, had me take six big hits off an inhaler, and told me we'd wait a little while to see what happened. After two hours of waiting in the exam room, Greg finally agreed to let me go. But only after I promised to call him in the afternoon with a situation report. If I hadn't improved dramatically by that point I promised to come back over. The shot eventually helped things along quite a bit, and by the afternoon I was probably about 70 percent better. He also prescribed an oral steroid that I am to take for the next few days to get everything back in check. Apparently, what I thought was a cold was really some sort of wicked bronchial virus that triggered a rather severe asthma attack. Anywho, I'm off the bike till Monday when I'm allowed to do an easy 1/2 hour on the road bike. If I experience any wheezing I'm to back off for a couple more days. I already feel a ton better after the shot and two days on the Prednizone, so I'm optimistic that I'll be back to full strength by the end of next week. Have a good weekend, and get a ride in for me. I'm all about the R and R (other than work that is). Take care and thanks for reading.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

WNR #18

As Peter was only able to make it for roll-call due to his recent illness, I'll have to give you the Wed. ride info. We were looking to shake things up a bit with a new start location to ride @ Boyne & all be able to ride the sweet 'North Ridge' downhill. We opted to park along a dirt service road near the start/finish of the 'Blue' trail at the Highlands just past the Boyne Country Club. Ride attendance was solid again, though heavily weighted for the boys & included myself, Rob, Doug, Kevin, S.Steve, Seth, Scott, Mitchell & Sarah with Katherine joining for a hike. The trails are in great shape & oh so sweet, even the logged section between the South & North Peaks is smoothing out (somewhat!) Doug had one of his most horrendous crashes just below the bridges but lived to ride on after catching his wind; Kevin was bouncing off a few trees and Mitchell tackled the downhill section in top form with most of us right on his pressure!

We are going to try Boyne Mt. next week while the summer daylight is still long & strong (some of us might even enjoy dinner at Red Mesa after the ride.) See you next week, South of the (Petoskey) border.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

O2S Report

Despite the fact that I've been sicker than a dog for the past few days (including today) the race went pretty well overall. I only lost about four minutes on last years time. Rob kept me honest, and without him in the race I surely would have ended up with a slower time. He passed me about 1/3 of the way through, and I was unable to hold his wheel. At that point, I thought to myself "I'm sick, it's okay. Rob's been riding a ton lately, and he's got a new bike". But then I caught up to him again, and we rode together back and forth for the remainder of the race. Rob just wouldn't give up. Every time I'd get a gap on him, a couple of minutes later he'd be right back on my wheel. Every time he'd get a gap on me, a couple of minutes later I'd pull in back behind him. This went on and on....and on and on..... Then we got to the ten mile to go mark, and I made my move. I got a small lead on Rob before the last big climb, and rather than shifting into the granny gear I decided to run/sprint up the hill. I passed at least half a dozen people on the climb, but it definitely put me in the red zone. Within a couple of more miles my quads were cramping up something fierce. Coming out into the home stretch, it was all I could do to keep moving forward. I only ended up about two minutes or so ahead of Rob, but without him there to motivate me I'm sure my time would have been much slower. I really didn't feel very good at all. But that's how it goes. Sometimes the trail eats you, and sometimes the you eat the trail. Today I got eaten, spit out, and thrown away. But after a nice dip in Lake Superior with Matt (who did remarkably well in his first 48 miler) I'm feeling just as fresh as a somewhat wilted daisy. Tomorrow is another day, and I plan on spending it lounging around Maraquette. Whether that is on the beach or around the campsite remains to be seen, but rest assured tomorrow will be a day of relaxation. Thanks for reading.

Friday, August 07, 2009

WNR # 17/Wo Is Me

WNR Repot: Record number of riders for the season I believe. Around fifteen if memory serves me correct. The Loop is pristine condition, if I do say so myself. I spent a couple of hours tuesday afternoon thinning out the trail below the Biddick's by hand with a bushwhacker thingy and a rake. I thought I was doing my last minute and unorthodox cross training before the race (last year I ripped out all the carpet in our house and stacked wood). It turns out I was just getting sick. I haven't been sick in over two years. I'm a really bad and grumpy sick person. Wednesday I felt the twinge of sickness, but I told myself that it was just allergies from the trail work and the hard ride (I felt really good by the way). By thursday afternoon, I had to admit to myself that I really was sick. I've been pumping myself full of Airborne and H2O for the last couple of days, but the truth of the matter is that I really don't feel so hot. Sore throat, headache, runny get the picture. Anyway, we just got the camper set up, and I'm settling into a Two Hearted. I need a miracle. I'm hoping to get to bed early and wake-up tomorrow all bright eyed and bushy tailed. However, I'm prepared for the fact that they may not happen. Either way, my a** will be on the line in the morning, and I'll report back from the other side. Wish me luck. Over and out.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

WNR #16

Eleven riders. Good brisk pace. Too busy to write more. Next week at the HQ. Be there or be square.